Match Preview :- Boston United - Saturday April 5th, 2008 (15:00:00)
Celtic?s last away trip of the season is on Saturday when we travel eastward to visit recently relegated Boston United. Boston have had a lot of troubles off the pitch this season, and have not adjusted quickly to life in the Conference North, and currently sit mathematically mid-table in twelfth on forty-nine points, ten places and twenty-four points behind Celtic. They are unable to reach the play offs and cannot be caught by the relegation threatened pack. There will be a Live Match Centre for this game.

Boston have had a lot of away games recently, with a win at Hucknall the only win in the last eight matches, though they did draw their last match 2-2 away at Southport. Since the start of March Boston have played three home games, and failed to score in all three, their last goal at home coming in a 2-0 win over Solihull Moors back on the 16th February. Harrogate, Burscough and Kettering were all the visitors over their last three home matches, and all won 1-0. At the turn of the year it looked as though Boston had finally sorted out their on-pitch performance with a solid start to the year, and in the ten games up to the end of February won seven and drew one. More recently though, they have taken just four points from a possible twenty-four leaving them in the bottom five of the form table. Away from home they have recently been beaten by Redditch, Barrow and Vauxhall Motors.

We have met Boston just five times over the past twenty years, with our last visit to Boston in 2001, when we lost 4-1. Our only other visit was in 1992 when we earned a 1-1 draw. In the reverse fixtures, we?ve had a good record against Boston, winning all three of their visits, including the game earlier in the season at Bower Fold that we won 3-0.

The Pilgrims are fairly tight defensively, despite one or two aberrations. Only Hucknall Town have scored three times at the Staffsmart Stadium. Southport and Worcester have scored twice, but fifteen other teams have only managed zero or one goals past their defence. On average, they concede only a goal per game at home (1.4 overall), whilst scoring 1.7 goals per game (1.5 overall). They don?t concede until the forty-ninth minute, and they score their first goal on average in the forty-second minute. Their most vulnerable period is the last quarter of an hour, when they have conceded sixteen of the fifty-two goals against them. Their most dangerous period is also the last quarter of an hour, when they have scored sixteen of the fifty-six goals they have scored this season. Their top scorers this campaign are Jon Stevenson and Jon Rowan with eight apiece, whilst Tony Crane and John Froggatt are hot on their heels with seven apiece.

Goalkeeper Chris Wright has returned to the Pilgrims for his third stint, and had a baptism by fire against Kettering, unable to prevent them losing 1-0. Boston?s only injury doubt for the match is midfielder Matt O?Halloran, whilst they have no suspension problems. In their last match, the 2-2 draw away at Southport, Boston lined up as:
1. Chris Wright
2. Tom Matthews
3. Simon Weaver
4. Matt Bloomer
5. Liam Green
6. Stewart Talbot
7. Paul Ellender
8. Jon Rowan
9. Jon Stevenson
10. Jon Froggatt
11. Lee Thompson

Celtic have been missing right back Ashley Woolliscroft since he limped off against Worcester, and he has missed the last two matches, as has Lee Ellington. Otherwise, Celtic have a fit and suspension free squad to choose from. In our last match, the 4-0 thrashing of Solihull Moors at Bower Fold, Celtic lined up as:
1. Paddy Gamble
2. Garry Burke
3. Andy Smart
4. Steve Payne
5. Terry Barwick
6. Paul Sykes
7. Steve Torpey
8. Ashley Winn
9. Chris Hall
10. James Dean
11. Alex Meechan

The automated prediction algorithm is suggesting a 3-1 win for Celtic on Saturday. With both Telford and Harrogate breathing down our necks for the second spot, 3-1 would be very welcome, and hopefully put us just behind Kettering in the league?s top attacks as well as in the league table (currently, we are third, behind Hyde).

Other fixtures of note on Saturday are: Barrow v Alfreton Town; Burscough v Redditch United; Harrogate v Hinckley United; Kettering Town v AFC Telford; Nuneaton Borough v Blyth Spartans; Solihull Moors v Southport.

Blyth recently did a job on Kettering, another job on Nuneaton and a win for Celtic would ensure Celtic finish above Nuneaton. If Barrow and Burscough also fail to win, and Celtic do, we would be on 76 points, whilst they could get 75 and 76 respectively. This would not quite mathematically ensure Celtic a play-off spot, but Celtic?s goal difference being 23 better than Burscough?s it is as good as. In short, if Celtic win, and Nuneaton, Barrow and Burscough all lose, we are in the play-offs. Otherwise, Celtic need two wins to be in the play-offs.
Distance: 115
Time: 2 hours and 40 minutes

Go via the Woodhead pass to the M1 and join the M1 heading South.
Stay on the M1 for 13 miles to Junction 31 (Worksop, A57).
At the roundabout turn left (exit 1 of 4) onto the A57 towards Worksop.
Stay on the A57 for thirteen miles to a roundabout with the A1.
Go straight across (exit 2 of 4) onto the A1.
Stay on the A1 for 19 miles to a roundabout with the A17.
Stay on the A17 for 33 miles to a junction with the A1121, exit here.
Stay on the A1121 for 5 miles where it merges with the A52 (Sleafort Road).
After an additional 2 miles there is a roundabout with the A16, turn left here (exit 1 of 3) onto the A16 (John Adams Way).
After less than a mile down the dual carriageway, turn right at the lights onto Main Ridge Road, and take the first left onto York Street.
The club is on the left.